Eeeek....so excited about how this paper plate Hippo turned out! My daughter has been requesting one of my favorites at bedtime lately, "The Hiccupotamus" and combined with the "Hidden Hippo" hide-and-seek book we picked up at the library, I knew it was perfect timing for a fun hippo craft.
Hidden Hippo by Joan Gannij & Clare Beaton
Told from the perspective of a child on safari, "Hidden Hippo" takes the reader on a journey through the grasslands of Africa to meet elephants, giraffes, zebras and many other creatures. The hippo is hidden on every page making it a fun game for your toddler to try to find him, and at the end of the book the hippo appears with a loud splash.
The Hiccupotamus by Aaron Zenz
"There was a Hippopotamus who hiccupped quite-a-lotamus and every time he got'emus he'd fall upon his bottomus." Pretty much one of the most hilarious read aloud stories EVER! After a Hippo gets the hiccups his friends try to find a way to cure him. They end up successful, only to find that they themselves all have the hiccups now. It is a hoot!
To make a paper plate hippopotamus, you will need 2 paper plates. I made mine with regular-sized paper plates but Lila wanted to use dessert-sized paper plates. Both worked great! Trim some of the paper plate off of both sides to make each plate more of an oval shape.
Fold one of the paper plates in half (fold so the top of the plate is in the inside). This will be the hippo mouth. Unfold that plate and paint the bottom of each plates gray. As we started painting I realized we really only needed the bottom half of the mouth paper plate painted so that's all I painted. My daughter painted all of her plates though.
My daughter chose to make a purple hippo just like in the Hiccupotamus story.
Once the paint is completely dry, turn the mouth paper plate over and paint it pink. Let it dry completely before moving on.
Next fold the mouth paper plate in half with the gray showing on top and glue it to the bottom of the face paper plate. Cut out two nose nostrils out of gray paper and glue them onto the top of the mouth.
Cut ears out of gray paper and glue them onto the back of the face. Also glue large wiggly eyes onto the hippo face.
For the teeth, I cut strips of white cardstock paper with one side rounded. I made a small fold at the straight end of the tooth and glued them down inside the mouth. My top teeth ended up being larger than the bottom ones and I spread the top ones apart and put the bottom ones together so the mouth would close easier. Hope that makes sense.
Lastly, we used a black marker to draw the little whisker holes on top of the hippo's mouth. You can do this part in an earlier step, but since we were just making it up as we went, we did it last.
It got dark before we got Lila's all finished so this picture is a terrible flash picture but I wanted to show you how you could make it without the teeth also. Lila left the outside rim of the plate white so it kind of ended up looking like teeth in his mouth since the paper plate has the ridges. For an extra fun twist you could also use large marshmallows for the teeth.